River recreation continues to grow in Troy

TROY — The city of Troy continues to expand its Great Miami River recreation offerings for residents and visitors from the Miami Valley and beyond to enjoy.

Since 2018, the city has spent approximately $50,000 on its Float Troy program on watercraft such as floating tents, kayaks, and life jackets, and equipment for transport and storage.

“Mayor (Michael) Beamish had the vision in 2018 to create a one-of-a-kind outdoor recreational experience that Troy could create and no other community in Ohio (and possibly the country) has. This program has grown leaps and bounds in the last three years because we have shown that Troy thinks outside of the box and values its outdoor amenities in an unparalleled way,” said Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington. “One of the reasons that Troy is well known in the region and the state is our investments in unique initiatives that are funded, coordinated, and promoted by partners such as The Troy Foundation, recreation board, park commissioners, Troy Main Street, and the Great Miami Riverway. We will continue to create new and innovative programs and features to keep Troy a destination city.”

Earlier this month, park superintendent Jeremy Drake reported to the park board of commissioners that a kayak and canoe rack will be installed at Treasure Island. The rack will be available to the public to store their kayaks and other personal watercraft at the park. The rack will be available to rent from April through October for $70 a year.

The city’s assistant recreation director manages the administrative duties of the Float Troy program and a park department laborer manages the on-site aspects of the program, Titterington said.

According to Titterington, in 2020, the Float Troy program generated $5,505 in revenue from the floating tent rental program, which was active for 72 nights with an estimated 189 guests. It costs $85 a day for a floating tent. Reservations opened Feb. 1.

Guests traveled to Troy to camp out on the river from as far away as Bellevue, Kentucky (Cincinnati), and Ferndale (north of Detroit) Michigan for the river camping experience. The majority of 2020 rentals were to locals, including 12 families from the Dayton area. Titterington said the city’s website www.float-troy.com and its social media are helping to market the city’s unique river experiences in the region and Ohio. He also said the Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau created marketing materials to pique the interest of outdoor enthusiasts across the state and the Midwest.

Last month, Drake reported 23 reservations had been made for the city’s floating Shoal tent program so far in 2021. The city owns 10 floating Shoal tents, which were designed by SmithFly, a Piqua company. The city also owns two floating platforms, seven rafts, four inflatable kayaks and nine solid kayaks. The city also owns 46 life vests, four floating fire pits, and three pumps for the program.

In 2020, the city acquired an aluminum trailer for $7,419 and a 2021 enclosed trailer for $5,750. The city spent $2,700 to “wrap” or install the Float Troy design and logos onto the trailers and the park department’s Chevy Silverado truck, which is used to transport the trailer and equipment to Treasure Island.

Using CARES ACT funds, the city spent $5,196 on replacement and accessories for Float Troy equipment.

Also in 2020, the city spent $22,892 on a variety of river recreation items including life jackets, kayaks, pumps, paddles, and rafts. Titterington said the city is considering applying for a grant to pave a parking area on East Main Street as part of a river launch area that has been made by river visitors over the years. In regards to the low dam, Titterington said an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Miami Conservancy District is expected to go before city council in the coming months to remove the low dam.

The Miami Conservancy District’s Great Miami Riverway (GMR) program’s scope extends from Sidney to Hamilton and is a collaboration of 19 jurisdictions and organizations to help promote the waterway and its nearby amenities to both area communities and broader audiences. Troy is a partner of GMR and pays $12,000 per year.

To learn more about Float Troy and book a floating tent experience, visit www.float-troy.com.